Stop the Cash Flow, Kill the Spam

I've had questions about using this (obvious) enforcement mechanism: doesn't this open the door for a new kind of attack? For example: rather than crafting a virus to attack SCO or Microsoft, couldn't a hacker just start sending mass quantities of SPAM on their behalf?

Of course the companies would disclaim any knowledge of this, but how would they prove it legally? Larger companies in more mainstream businesses would be less effected, but I could see where an attacker could hold a small vitamin supplement company hostage with a threat to start spamming.

Although spammers are using ever-more-sophisticated methods to flood your inbox, tracking the miscreants down isn't all that complicated. Just follow the money. By Kari L. Dean.

(link) [Wired News]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Analog Approach to Displaying Data

Interesting approach to UI design: old is not necessarily bad, nor is new necessarily better.

The orb changed colour to display information at a glance, for example turning red if the stock market is going down. The dashboard has three displays, similar to speedometers or barometers, to show the information of your choice, from stock market volumes to the pollen count.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Ban Urged on All Animal Protein for Cattle

Wow! Somebody's proposing that we feed vegetarian beasts naught but veggies! What a concept! I wonder how many millions of dollars it cost to figure this out?

An international panel advising the Agriculture Department recommended a ban on feeding all animal protein to cattle and also advocated testing many more head of cattle.

(link) [New York Times: NYT HomePage]

00:00 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link

Learning Computer Science via Assembly Language

It's how I learned ... I had originally purchased a Commodore 64 in order to write the Great American Novel. Then I discovered video games. I also discovered that a particular video game was virtually unbeatable - Baghdad, it was called, and I couldn't whack the dreaded purple genie on level 5 to move on.

So I taught myself 6502 assembler in order to patch the game with extra lives and kill the purple genie.

High-level languages are great, but learning them will never teach you about computers. Perhaps it's time that computer science curriculums start teaching assembly language first.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Judge Orders N.F.L. to Permit Young Athletes to Enter Draft

Some folks might find this just terrible, and I'm sure you'll hear much whining and gnashing of teeth in the next few weeks over it. But ya know, this is a good thing.

My kids, not having been born with exceptional physical gifts, have had to struggle to get a college education. Work, loans, grants - we've been there. And it's just galled me for years to see morons whose only qualification for college happens to be a muscular build get a free ride thru a top school, usually graduating (if they manage to graduate at all) with a degree in something akin to advanced basket weaving.

I for one am sick of having my tax dollars fund the farm team system for the NBA and the NFL. Let the pros pay'em to play right out of high school, and give the freed up scholarship money to some deserving scholar.

The ruling opened the way for Maurice Clarett, the suspended Ohio State running back, to be eligible for the draft this year.

(link) [New York Times: NYT HomePage]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Port Knocking

A very interesting approach to security - basically a digital combination lock.

The process of Port Knocking is a way to allow only people who know the "secret knock" access to a certain port on a system.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

How did we survive?

This little missive arrived in my email this morning from a friend: I have no idea where it originally come from, or who the author is, and I've seen similar things before, but this one's pretty well done, and its memes are certainly worthy of growth and propagation.

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 40's, 50's, 60's, or even maybe the early 70's probably shouldn't have survived.

Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets, ... and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.)

As children, we would ride in cars with no seatbelts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors! We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. NO CELL PHONES!!!!! Unthinkable!

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms. We had friends!

We went outside and found them. We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt. We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents?

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Some students weren't as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors! Tests were not adjusted for any reason.

Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

And we managed to survive.

00:00 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

Would you Warranty Your Email?

This may be a more effective approach to controlling SPAM than either legal sanctions or message filtering.

Instead of relying on technical solutions or government regulations, they use a sender warranty system. In some cases, they argue, it can even be superior to a perfect filter with zero cost, and no errors.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link